From Catalunya to Corsica

by : Anthony Fontanelle

After a grueling event in Spain which saw Subaru's three drivers showing signs of improvement, the calendar takes them to Corsica for the French leg of the World Rally Championship. The race in Corsica will be the second half of the back to back asphalt events.

It can be considered as one of the most dangerous events in the World Rally Championship's calendar. With drivers running flat out on asphalt roads, tire wear is high. This is made even more dangerous by the fact that the narrow roads are flanked on one side with rock face and a ravine on the other side. This can be made even more treacherous if Mother Nature decides to intervene just like in Catalunya where teams are caught driving on dry tires when rain poured.

The event is so-called the "Rally of a Thousand Corners". Drivers need to concentrate well on the road ahead as there is no room for error with the ravine on the side of narrow roads. Hard acceleration and heavy breaking can be expected from drivers as they would be driving flat out to post the fastest time on each stage.

Subaru will be fielding their three -equipped Impreza units for the event. Petter Solberg, Xevi Pons, and Chris Atkinson will carry on their driving duties for the team.

Former champion Solberg is looking to have a better performance in Corsica after they finished the event in Catalunya on a high note. "We finished the last leg in Spain by making some changes I felt made the car a lot better, so I hope we can take this knowledge to Corsica and start well," said the Norwegian driver. "The surface is very different, but like Spain the weather can play a large part with the chance of unpredictable showers. Tire choice will be very important, so there is more to the rally than just fine-tuning setup. But the surface in Corsica suits the car so I hope we will be fast from leg one."

Australian Atkinson who recently signed a contract extending his stay at Subaru said that the back to back race takes a toll on them but he welcomes it in a way and is looking to have a strong finish to this year's campaign.

"With Spain only last weekend, Corsica is the second asphalt rally in two weeks which is great for us," said Atkinson. "It is tough having two events next to each other, as we pretty much have one day off in two weeks, but for the last few weeks I've been training harder to counter this. In general October is a tough month which means I have been exercising more to build myself up. On the plus side, it means you can develop more of a rhythm between the rallies. I'm hoping for a good result and a strong end of the season."

Spaniard Xevi Pons who just came from his home race said that the event in Corsica will be quieter for him thus he is expecting a better performance from himself. "I am looking forward to France next weekend and hope we can be fast there. The Impreza WRC2007 is quick on that type of surface, so I hope we can have no problems and a good weekend. Spain was a busy weekend for me with media interviews and live TV slots; it was a fantastic experience! Following that Corsica will be quieter, but I hope that means I can focus 100 per cent on my driving and deliver a good result for the team," he concluded.